SIEM REAP, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia’s most popular tourist attraction – the complex of ancient temples that includes Angkor Wat – is suffering from a form of overexposure: At least five foreign visitors have been arrested and deported this year for taking nude photos at the sacred sites.
Authorities have no tolerance for people stripping down at Angkor Archeological Park, a sprawling, centuries-old UNESCO World Heritage Site that drew two million visitors last year. The incidents are also upsetting to ordinary Cambodians, for whom the Khmer-era complex holds enormous spiritual and historical significance.
“Angkor Wat is the most famous sacred … temple in Cambodia, where everyone – not only tourists but also Cambodians themselves – has to pay respect,” said Rattanak Te, an administrative assistant who lives in Phnom Penh, the capital. “It definitely upsets me and all Cambodians, because outsiders will think we – Cambodian people – are careless and do not take good care of this World Heritage (site) by allowing these tourists to do such an unacceptable act.”